Malahide (Ireland): India captain Virat Kohli said Wednesday evening that he wants to ‘surprise the opposition’ by experimenting with his middle-order in the remaining T20s against Ireland and the subsequent three-match series against England. India won the first game against Ireland by 76 runs Wednesday and will again take on the hosts here Friday.
“We have already announced that apart from the opening combination we are going to do a lot of experiments in the middle-order. We are going to be flexible in the next few T20s. We will look to throw guys in when the situation requires,” said Kohli after the game, Wednesday.
“It presents the opportunity for both the batsmen and bowlers. The guys who couldn’t bat in the first game will get the chance to do so, Friday,” asserted the Indian skipper.
Kohli assured that everyone in the squad will get a game. “The team management has taken this decision so that players can show the quality they possess. We have seen in past that many guys go on tour do not get a chance to play. We won’t do that,” Kohli informed.
The Indian spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal started the UK tour with a bang, taking four and three wickets respectively. Ireland captain Gary Wilson said his batsmen will have to find a way to play the Indian spinners better.
We have seen in the past that on tours many players do not get the chance to play. The team management has taken a decision that everyone will get a game at least
“They are a world-class side and their lads at the top played beautifully. I expected it to be a good wicket, I did not expect it to spin as it did in the second innings. We could have bowled spinners in the power play,” said Wilson. “We are going to have a chat to tackle their spinners. We can learn from the way James Shannon (opener) batted,” added Wilson.
Kohli has also indicated that he will stick to the Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan combo at the top of the order, but other than that there will be flexibility in the playing XI. Hence there is every possibility of Dinesh Karthik and Umesh Yadav getting a look in Friday.
Kohli’s earlier statement also confirms that KL Rahul will bat in the middle-order whenever an opportunity presents itself, and it could be as early as the next game, keeping the England series in mind.
Irrespective of the scope of team changes, on the strength of their batting and bowling, India will be firm favourites going into this second game. The one department, they will have to improve is fielding. Three outfield catches were dropped Wednesday and this surely wouldn’t have pleased Kohli.